Calcite was a popular material used in ancient Egyptian times as the stone’s cool surfaces meant that the contents, such as perfumed fats and unguents, would be better preserved. However, perfumed fats were a luxury item and popular with grave-robbers in ancient times as they were easy to carry, and difficult to identify as being from a tomb. The Tomb of King Tutankhamun (KV62) was believed to have been raided of about 350 litres of perfumed fats and unguents, according to an estimate by the famous explorer Howard Carter!
One of the most beautiful artefacts from King Tutankhamun’s tomb was the Alabaster Perfume Vase, which stored perfumed fats used as a cosmetic. The artefact was one of thousands stored at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, that was photographed by the immensely talented Sandro Vannini.
‘Alabaster Perfume Jar’ Slideshow
Heritage Key is working with Sandro and bringing his extensive catalogue of beautiful photography of Egyptian antiquities onto the world wide web, which we’re sure will fascinate even the most hardened Egyptologist! To watch a slideshow of the Alabaster Perfume Vase, simply click any of the thumbnails below.
See it for yourself in King Tut VX
But it doesn’t stop there, as you can also check out a 3D version of the Alabaster Perfume Vase in King Tut Virtual – simply just register for your avatar in our quick and easy process, and you’ll be exploring the virtual artefacts of King Tutankhamun, walking through the Valley of the Kings and even seeing more of Sandro Vannini’s photography in the virtual gallery.
Sandro Vannini’s Photography
Years of experience in photographing the magnificent artefacts and tombs of Egypt has honed the skills of Sandro, and given him the experience needed to capture the beautiful details of the Alabaster Perfume Vase. The equipment used to take the amazing photographs plays its part too, and Sandro used a Hasselblad ELD Ixpress 528C camera to take these images.
So for those of you who cant make the trip to the Cairo Museum to see the Alabaster Perfume Vase, Heritage Key offers these stunning photographs by Sandro Vannini which capture the stunning Alabaster Perfume Vase from the Tomb of King Tutankhamun. But there’s more: you can visit virtual replicas of Tutankhamun treasures in the Heritage Key VX King Tut exhibition, which features a virtual replica of many breath-taking artefacts, including the Alabaster Perfume Vase.
Don’t miss out on new treasures!
This post is part of a series focussing on amazing photographs from ancient Egypt. Keep checking back as well keep adding new images by Sandro Vannini. To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the updates, simply subscribe by email to receive notifications when new images are uploaded. For the more digitally advanced, there’s also an RSS feed with updates available.
See More Amazing Photography by Sandro
Have a look at some of the other stunning photographs by Sandro Vannini here at Heritage Key:
- Tomb of Seti I (KV17): The Antechamber
- External Trappings of the Mummy
- Sandro Vannini’s Photography – Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion
- Golden Mask of King Tutankhamun
We’ll be sitting down with our favourite photographer for an extended chat soon, so if you have any questions for Sandro we’ll send the answers straight to you!
The Alabaster Perfume Vase
Found between the first and second shrines which contained the royal coffins and King Tutankhamun’ssarcophagus, the Alabaster Perfume Vase is made up of four pieces of alabaster which have been fixed together. Inscribed with the names of King Tutankhamun and his Queen Ankhesenamen, the vase also features a sematawy symbol which is common throughout ancient Egyptian tombs, and represents the unification of the Upper and Lower Egypt.
There are two figures on either side of the container, who represent Hapy – the god of the River Nile. Shown tying the papyrus plant (which represents the north lands of Egypt) to a lotus plant (which represents the south lands of Egypt), the god is worshipped as a deity who brings fertile soils, and hence a fruitful bounty. On the vase, Hapy is shown with a large belly and ample bosoms.
At the top of the container are shown two cobras – one wears the hedjet White Crown of Upper Egypt, whilst the other adorns the desheret Red Crown of Lower Egypt. Protecting the perfume contained within is a vulture of a god who is either Mut or Nekhbet, who wears an atef-crown.
On the panel at the base of the vase are shown two falcons with solar disks on their heads, using their wings to protect the names of King Tutankhamun and Queen Ankhesenamen. The Alabaster Perfume Vase’s lower panel is finished with painted ivory and gold.
The Ancient Egyptians were keen on their beauty, and as such their cosmetics were strongly valued products. In addition to cosmetics, the Egyptians had treatments for various conditions and watched what they ate to maintain good health. Heritage Key even offers advice based on their ancient Health and Beauty tips!
Of course, take them with a pinch of salt. Nefertiti was definitely a beautiful lady, but spending over 200,000 on plastic surgery to look like her could well be seen as overkill.
King Tut Virtual is the online virtual experience where you can explore 3D recreations of the stunning artefacts that were discovered in the Tomb of King Tutankhamun (KV62). Journey through the Valley of the Kings and explore the wildlife along the River Nile, taking in the stunning realism and details. Invite your friends to join you, or meet new people from across the globe and discover the treasures of the virtual world together! Explore the treasures from KV62, go virtual and visit the King Tut exhibition nowor learn more about Tutankhamun!